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Infrared Spectrometer

Scientists at Stanford University and Japan's National Institute of Informatics have created a new highly sensitive infrared spectrometer. The device converts light from the infrared part of the spectrum to the visible part, where the availability of superior optical detectors results in strongly improved sensing...

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Toxic Sensor

Clemson physics professor Apparao Rao and his team are developing nano-scale cantilevers that have the potential to read and alert us to toxic chemicals or gases in the air. Putting them into small handheld devices could lead to real-time chemical alerts in battle, industry, health care, and even at home. In addition to...

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Remote Key Duplication

University of California at San Diego computer scientists have designed a software program that can perform key duplication without having the key, instead relying on a photograph of the key.

The keys used in the most common residential locks in the United States have aseries of 5 or 6 cuts, spaced out at regular...

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Sensor Makes Automobiles Safer

Drivers worldwide soon will be able to navigate dangerous road conditions more safely, thanks to sensor technology developed by researchers at the University of California at Irvine. The researchers have designed a 1.7 millimeter-wide device that helps stabilize automobiles, allowing them to pass safely through...

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Cold Steel for a Hot Application

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. ITER Project Office have developed a new cast stainless steel that is 70 percent stronger than comparable steel and is being evaluated for use in the huge shield modules required by the ITER fusion device. ITER is a multibillion-dollar international...

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What's the Matter?

Scientists are on the hunt for evidence of antimatter left over from the very early Universe. Unfortunately, new results using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory suggest the search may have just become even more difficult. Antimatter is made up of elementary particles, each of which...

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Solar Breakthrough

An untreated silicon solar cell absorbs only 67.4 percent of sunlight shone upon it, and the remaining unharvested light is a major barrier hampering the widespread adoption of solar power. However, a silicon surface treated with a new reflective coating developed by researchers at Rensselaer absorbs 96.21 percent of sunlight....

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Computers and Electronics at NNEC

Register today for NASA Tech Briefs' National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale. The event returns to Boston this year on November 12-13 at the Boston Colonnade Hotel, featuring the fourth annual Nano 50...

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Silicon Optical Fiber

Clemson University scientists have made a practical optical fiber with a silicon core, employing the same methods that are used to develop all-glass fibers. The development could make silicon fibers viable alternatives to glass fibers, and help increase efficiency and decrease power consumption in computers and other...

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Nosy Detector

By marrying a sensitive detector able to distinguish hundreds of different chemical compounds with a pattern-recognition module that mimics the way animals recognize odors, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have created a new approach for "electronic noses." The detector could be a potent tool for...

Blog
Coming Attractions

As products become more feature-rich, manufacturers are looking at ways to improve the human-computer interface (HCI). Touchscreens, with intuitive operation and software flexibility, and screen-printed touch surfaces, with refined aesthetics and better sealing, have become extremely popular. But what these touch-input devices...

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Computer Guardians

As computer processor chips grow faster and more complex, they are likely to make it to market with more design bugs. But that may be OK, according to University of Michigan researchers who have devised a new system that lets chips work around all functional bugs, even those that haven't been detected. Normally CPU...

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Solar Energy Material

Researchers at Ohio State University have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and it generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture. The new hybrid material was created by combining electrically conductive plastic...

Blog
Fluid Transducer

Many technical systems work with air or water - air compression systems and water pipes are just two examples. Sensors constantly monitor the pressure of such systems to keep costly fault-related losses to a minimum. At present, these sensors are either battery-driven or connected up by complex technical wiring, making it...

The figure depicts two digital waveforms and a block diagram of a digital phase meter for measuring the difference between their phases. This digital phase meter is being developed...

To support NASA's planned 20-year mission to provide sustained global precipitation measurement (EOS-9 Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)), a deployable antenna has been...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Vision System Measures Motions of Robot and External Objects

A prototype of an advanced robotic vision system both (1) measures its own motion with respect to a stationary background and (2) detects other moving objects and estimates their motions, all by use of visual cues. Like some prior robotic and other optoelectronic vision systems, this...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Wide-Band Radar for Measuring Thickness of Sea Ice

A wide-band penetrating radar system for measuring the thickness of sea ice is under development. The need for this or a similar system arises as follows: Spatial and temporal variations in the thickness of sea ice are important indicators of heat fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere and,...

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has been shown to provide very sensitive measurements of surface deformation and displacement on the order of 1 cm. Future...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Microwave Power Combiner/Switch Utilizing a Faraday Rotator

A proposed device for combining or switching electromagnetic beams would have three ports, would not contain any moving parts, and would be switchable among three operating states:

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Compact Low-Loss Planar Magic-T

This design allows broadband power combining with high isolation between the H port and E port, and achieves a lower insertion loss than any other broadband planar magic-T. Passive micro wave/millimeter-wave signal power is combined both in-phase and out-of-phase at the ports, with the phase error being less than...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Next Generation Flight Controller Trainer System

The Next Generation Flight Controller Trainer (NGFCT) is a relatively inexpensive system of hardware and software that provides high- fidelity training for space-shuttle flight controllers. NGFCT provides simulations into which are integrated the behaviors of emulated space-shuttle vehicle onboard...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Optical Transmission Line for 94-GHz Radar

A quasi-optical transmission line (QOTL) has been developed as a low-loss transmission line for a spaceborne cloud-observing radar instrument that operates at a nominal frequency of 94 GHz. This QOTL could also readily be redesigned for use in terrestrial millimeter- wave radar systems and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Using Pipelined XNOR Logic to Reduce SEU Risks in State Machines

Single-event upsets (SEUs) pose great threats to avionic systems' state machine control logic, which are frequently used to control sequence of events and to qualify protocols. The risks of SEUs manifest in two ways: (a) the state machine's state information is changed, causing the...

In a proposed improvement in complementary metal oxide/semi con ductor (CMOS) image detectors, two additional implants in each pixel would effect vertical isolation between the metal oxide/...

Briefs: Information Technology
Converting From DDOR SASF to APF

A computer program called “ddor_sasf2apf” converts delta-door (delta differential one-way range) request from an SASF (spacecraft activity sequence file) format to an APF (apgen plan file) format for use in the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission-planning-and- sequencing process. The APF is used as an...

Briefs: Information Technology
Converting From CVF to AAF

A computer program called “dsn config converter” automates what had been a manual process for updating the multi-mission adaptation file (multi.aaf) used by a multiple- mission- command- sequence- generating process comprised of a combination of the AUTOGEN and APGEN programs mentioned in the immediately preceding...

Briefs: Information Technology
Documenting AUTOGEN and APGEN Model Files

A computer program called “autogen hypertext map generator” satisfies a need for documenting and assisting in visualization of, and navigation through, model files used in the AUTOGEN and APGEN software mentioned in the two immediately preceding articles. This program parses autogen script files,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Sequence History Update Tool

The Sequence History Update Tool performs Web-based sequence statistics archiving for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Using a single UNIX command, the software takes advantage of sequencing conventions to automatically extract the needed statistics from multiple files. This information is then used to populate a...

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Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

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